By Laura Meckler (Wall Street Journal) – Hillary Clinton never goes very far without black women sharing the stage, introducing her around or casting ballots for her in outsize numbers—and they are a prime reason she stands on the cusp of claiming the Democratic presidential nomination.
Black women have long played a big role in Mrs. Clinton’s life and career, and now their expanding roles in politics—as voters, officeholders and activists—have lifted the Clinton campaign in multiple ways.
Exit polls show turnout by black women in Democratic primaries is significantly higher than turnout by black men, in several cases more than double. And black women have overwhelmingly supported the former senator and secretary of state over rival Bernie Sanders, with 90% or more of them voting for her in some states. In New York, she took 79% of their votes on her way to an easy victory, the exit polls show….
….. Black women have long registered and voted at higher rates than their male counterparts, but in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections, they surpassed all other racial and ethnic groups in their turnout rates, helping to elect and re-elect President Barack Obama.
It isn’t just an Obama effect, said Maya Harris, who studied the subject at the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, and who now works for the Clinton campaign. She pointed to the 2013 Virginia gubernatorial race, when high turnout rates among black women helped elect Democrat Terry McAuliffe, who took 38% of white women but a whopping 91% of black women.
At the same time, more black women are being elected to office in their own right. There are 20 black women in the House, including two nonvoting members, many of whom have campaigned with Mrs. Clinton. Read the full story at WSJ.com.